Meridian Schools Get Handicap-Accessible Playgrounds

Children with disabilities no longer have to sit on the sidelines and watch their friends without disabilities play on the playground. Now, there are parks at T.J. Harris Elementary and Parkview Elementary specially designed to allow them to play just like everyone else.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at T.J. Harris Elementary School Thursday to open one of two such facilities at Meridian Public Schools. The main goal of the playgrounds is to include everyone.

"Prior to having the playground, our kids would come outside during P.E. And even during recess, and the only thing that they could do was sit on the sidewalk in their chairs and watch as everyone else played," said Marcie Boyd, a student intern working with disabled children. "But now, since we've been blessed with such a beautiful playground that's accessible to all, our kids can now come out, interact with their peers during P.E. and recess. And as their teacher, it does my heart good to know that they are inclusive in all aspects of the school setting."

Parkview and T.J. Harris were chosen because they share a middle school on their campus, allowing the playgrounds to be used by more students.

Funds issued through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus) paid for the playgrounds.